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Businesses react to Gov. Bullock's new Montana COVID-19 directive

Restrictions begin November 18th, 2020.
Posted at 11:07 AM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 13:11:17-05

HELENA — New restrictions announced by Gov. Steve Bullock that aim to prevent the spread of COVID-19 take effect later this week.

MTN News spoke with multiple businesses for their reactions.

“I had a feeling it was coming and I think it's a good thing for the community and for the state," says Chris Rehor, the owner of Montana City Grill & Saloon.

The new governor’s directive places more restrictions on places like Chris’s restaurant, the Montana City Grill.

Under the Governor’s orders, bars, casinos, breweries, distilleries, and restaurants must limit their capacity to 50% and must close their doors by 10 p.m. beginning on Friday, Nov. 20.

Not all restaurants were happy to see the new guidelines.

“We just want to keep everybody safe, number one,” says Renea Howard, General Manager at Overland Express. “Our thoughts are, if we have to go back to feeding half capacity, that's what we'll do."

One casino owner says kicking people out of regulated environments does not make sense.

“So in an environment where we do all of the things that the public health service is demanding of us, the governor finds it fit to kick people out at 10 p.m.,” says Bryan Sandrock, owner of three casinos in the Helena area.

“Now, I'm not 20 anymore but at age 25, if you sent me home at 10 p.m., I would be thinking about house parties, where we're going to go and try to find a whole group of friends in an unregulated environment where people are doing whatever they want," he added.

MTN reached out to the Governor’s Office for possible confusion regarding closing times. After 10 p.m, can businesses have deliveries or offer curbside pickup?

We did receive a response. According to the Governor's Office, the 10 p.m. closing time does not apply to take-out, curbside pick up, delivery, and drive-thru. The closing time only applies to indoor/outdoor dining spaces.